Lift Each Other Up and Promote Civility and Respect in the Workplace

February 21, 2023
Members encouraged to celebrate our diversity, address bullying and harassment and promote equity and inclusion in our workplaces and communities

This Feb. 22, we encourage all members to wear pink to lift each other up, promote civility and respect and live our commitment to end bullying, harassment, racism and discrimination in the workplace and our communities.

Bullying and harassment in the workplace is a symptom of a psychologically unsafe workplace due to increased workload, complex cognitive demands, role conflicts, unclear leadership direction and many more conditions–all exacerbated by effects of the pandemic.

Pink Shirt Day seeks to address bullying and harassment in the workplace by celebrating diversity in all its forms. While all people can be the target of bullying, persons identifying with equity-seeking groups often encounter more bullying than others.

Bullying is any inappropriate conduct towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that worker to be intimidated or humiliated. Discrimination on the basis of Indigeneity, race/racialization, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation and disability, for example, can compound the outcome of daily exposure to bullying and harassment.

Exposure to workplace bullying can negatively affect the health of individuals, their co-workers, and their family, resulting in symptoms such as increased stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, fatigue, and depression. This can negatively affect team communication, job satisfaction, motivation, morale, recruitment and retention and patient care.

BC workplaces are required to develop and maintain effective prevention strategies for bullying and harassment. This WorkSafeBC video speaks to the legal obligations of employers, supervisors and workers surrounding bullying and harassment. Add this video to your safety huddles, conversations, or share with colleagues to help create awareness and take action.

If you witness, or are the recipient of bullying, document it! To ensure evidence in the event of a formal investigation, you must keep a log of each bullying and harassment incident you experience or witness. Be an ally to those subjected to discrimination, racism and/or bullying and harassment in the workplace. Talk to your steward or read our Pink Shirt Day brochure for more information.

About Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day arose from a display of student solidarity at a Nova Scotia high school in 2007. When high school seniors David Shepherd and Travis Price witnessed a grade 9 classmate being subjected to homophobic bullying for wearing a pink shirt to school, they decided to take immediate action and purchased 75 pink women’s tank tops for students to wear. They spread the word that night using social media, which resulted in some 800 out of 1,000 students showing up to school the next day wearing pink. Since then, Pink Shirt Day has become an annual event to speak out against bullying in schools, communities, and workplaces.

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